Ron Paul's website attacked during fundraising drive

Filed Under: Denial of Service, Featured, Vulnerability

Ron PaulA fundraising drive by Ron Paul was disrupted this weekend by an internet attack against his website.

Texas Congressman Paul, who hopes to win the Republican party's nomination for the United States 2012 presidential election, timed his so-called "money bomb" to coincide with his 76th birthday.

However, a statement on Ron Paul's Facebook page said that the website was under "cyber attack", and that as a result people had not been able to make donations to the campaign's war chest.

The RonPaul2012.com website is under cyber attack. Our team is working to fix this as we speak. So sorry to all who have tried to make donations and could not. We'll have more info ASAP.

Ron Paul statement on Facebook

There's not much information available regarding the nature of the "cyber attack", but it's natural to assume that the website was targeted by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, which flooded the site with unwanted internet traffic making it difficult (if not impossible) for genuine supporters to reach it.

Although some of Ron Paul's supporters posted messages to Twitter accounts affiliated to Anonymous if they were responsible for the attack, no-one appeared to claim responsibility.

Thousands of the politician's supporters left comments on Facebook, some of whom speculated that the site may simply have crumpled under the weight of Ron Paul's fans trying to visit the site to make a donation.

Within a couple of hours, Ron Paul's team said that they had the situation under control.

Ron Paul statement on Facebook

Despite the disruption, it's reported that Ron Paul raised an additional $1.8 million over the weekend.

No organisation likes its website to go down, and it's even worse if your site goes offline through no fault of your own. If you're tempted to engage in a denial-of-service attack it might be wise to remind yourself that you can end up in prison as a result.

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10 Responses to Ron Paul's website attacked during fundraising drive

  1. Rick · 1103 days ago

    Kill them ...... kill them all .....

  2. From the screenshot, I see that 2,139 people Like this.
    Do they all like that the website was DDoS'ed or do they like the fact that it was admitted that the site was under attack. Sometimes it's hard to understand what is being Liked on FB.

  3. Joseph · 1103 days ago

    Nice "Rick". Go back to your XBox and leave the real world to grown ups...

    As for the speculation that Anons were responsible for the DDoS attack -- comes as a surprise to the anons behind Twitter accounts: they tend to be Ron Paul supporters (been an ongoing debate thread there, lately). Me, I'm no Paul supporter, and don't feel too bad for Paul's campaign poster (aka "website") losing a couple hours... but in this instance, I'd like to see the proof that it was due to an attack, and not another case (like Westboro Church) of trying to play victim. More likely, Paul's webdev made a weak site that couldn't handle the scale of usage.

    • Devilsjackpot · 1102 days ago

      Unlikey. Pauls page has been inundated by larger money bombs than this many times and never gone down.

  4. Tony · 1103 days ago

    That's so unfair.
    The media and corrupt govt are treating this guy like a fool.

    He is the only candidate that can save America.
    I wish I was American so I could vote for Ron Paul.

    All of Australia wants Ron Paul to be the next President of the USA!!

  5. First The lame stream media,ignores Ron Paul.Then the money bomb web site gets attacked.We shall overcome!!! RON PAUL 2012 NO MATTER WHAT!!!

  6. Robert Witham · 1103 days ago

    This is a disconcerting development in our political process. Attempting to silence one's political opponents is really not appropriate in a democratic republic. Political cyber-terrorism. "Don't cross us or oppose our political stance lest we shut you down."

    On the other hand, this may just be the natural progression of what politicians have started. The escalating rhetoric that has marked recent political debates (complete with overt references to violence) can breed nothing else. Perhaps we are fortunate that we are seeing cyber-terrorism as opposed to more violent efforts to silence political opponents.

    It's sad regardless.

  7. Joe Mama · 1103 days ago

    If it was an attack, it's unlikely to happen again. Whoever did it apparently doesn't understand the RP movement. I'm guessing the end result was an increase in total amount raised. So I don't think the attackers will want to repeat that effect.

    And of course you could then say well maybe it was all staged by the campaign itself to just get more money. But you could say that about any politician. Only thing is the other politicians don't have a track record of honesty and consistency for decades.

  8. NadePaulKuciGravMcKi · 1102 days ago

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njG7p6CSbCU
    There is room at the top they are telling you still 
    But first you must learn how to smile as you kill 
    If you want to be like the folks on the hill 
     
    A working class hero is something to be 

  9. Amazing. I did not realize one could hook up a stone tablet as an internet server.
    Still illegal to hack it though.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.